Spiced Chocolate Bouchons with Espresso Soaked Raisins (raw, vegan, GF)
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The bouchons strike a subtle balance between chocolate, warming spices and the hint of creamy coffee. This combination has a warm, comforting flavor which is perfect for topping with Espresso Buttercream Frosting! To me these taste like a gingerbread man went swimming in a cup of coffee.
So just what is a bouchon? Classically it is a small, bite-size chocolate cake with brownie-like qualities. Named for their shape, which resembles a cork (bouchon); they are very rich and chocolatey, baked with the chocolate chips in the batter, and dusted with confectioners’ sugar. My version is a play on this French dish, I guess you can say that deconstructed the cork and layered in some frosting. And instead of mixing in chocolate chips I plumped up some raisins in an espresso drink and mixed those in. Replacing dusting them with the typical confectioners’ sugar, I used raw cacao powder.
For individual portion sizes, I recommend 2 Tbsp of batter per cake. Then frost them with at least a 1:1 ratio of frosting to cake. It is a marriage made in culinary world heaven. I had quite a bit of fun creating different cakes with the batter. Which just goes to show that you can really be creative, with raw desserts. The batter yields roughly 34 small bouchons, each being 2 Tbsp worth of batter. From there you can use individual cakes or stack them, layered with frosting. You can roll the edges in cacao powder or leave them plain. Have fun!
Ingredients: yields 34 cakes at 2 Tbsp each
Coffee infused raisins:
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 espresso shot or VERY strong coffee
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 3/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg or apple spice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 3/4 cup raw cacao powder
- 1 cup raw almond flour/meal
- 1 cup coconut flour
Coffee infused raisins:
- Place the raisins in a small bowl and cover them with strong coffee. I made a double espresso shot, poured it over the raisins and then added more hot water, just enough to cover them. Set aside to plump up while you make the cake batter. For a real deep flavor and if you have the time, soak them overnight.
- Pre-grind the raw almonds and coconut in the food processor in a high-powered blender, separately. Process each one until they resemble a flour. Be careful that you don’t over process. This will release to much of the natural oils and cause clumping. Pour both into a bowl and set aside.
- In the food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, combine the applesauce, maple syrup, vanilla and lemon juice. Blend together.
- Add the nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt and cacao powder. Process until well combined.
- Add the almond and coconut flour to the processor in batches so you don’t overwhelm the machine. The batter should be fairly dry yet stick together really well. Mix in the raisins by hand.
- Using a 2 Tbsp cookie scoop, create cake patties. I used a stainless steel ring and food press but this is not required. It just made nice even cake discs. You can also use a mini cake pan that makes the cork shapes. After using up all the dough and you have the bouchons formed, place in the fridge while you make the frosting and it sets up.
- Option: You can dehydrate these cakes at 115 degrees (F) for 6-8 hours. This gives the cake a little drier texture on the outside and a little different mouth-feel. Either way,still tastes great.
- Unfrosted these cakes should last 5-7 days in the fridge, or you could wrap them individually and freeze them for at least a month.
- Follow the instructions for the Espresso Buttercream Frosting
- You can be as creative as you wish. Make single layer bouchons or cut them in half and add a layer of frosting. Use a variety of piping tips for the frosting to give each one a fun and unique look. Top the frosting with an espresso bean or raisin. Dust raw cacao powder over the top.
- Once the cakes are frosted they will keep good for 1-2 days. Keep stored in the fridge.